“Obviously you aren’t obligated to join the League, but we’d be happy to have you.”
Kyle was going to die. He did not, despite the obvious facts, consider himself to be possessed of great will. It did not occur to him that the fact that he could make himself stand there and pretend to be casual spoke volumes.
“I’ll have to think about it,” he said, hoping that his voice didn’t shake, turning down the thing he would have liked most in the world. “I’m a pretty private person.”
Superman considered this. “That’s fair,” he said, “but maybe I should mention that the League doesn’t require you to disclose your civilian identity.”
“It doesn’t?” Shit. He shouldn’t have sounded so excited.
“No. Some people choose to disclose to close friends, but it isn’t on file and no one has to share anything they’re not comfortable with.”
“Oh.” Maybe… maybe no one would have to know. Maybe he could do this. “I’ll still have to think about it,” he said, even as he made up his mind, “but I am very interested.” Superman smiled, suddenly, and even though he had been nothing but kind Kyle was terrified. “What? Did I say something funny?”
“No, no, you’re fine,” Superman assured him. “Usually Green Lanterns are a little more candid, is all. There’s nothing wrong with it.”
“I, uh.” Kyle faltered. “It’s not that I have anything to hide. It’s just… before I got the ring, I… did some things I’m not proud of.” Superman nodded in a manner warily sympathetic. “Things are different now, though. Very different.”
“I believe you,” Superman said, and it was absolutely killing him how nice he was. He was so nice. Kyle’s only saving grace was that he was wearing the classic costume. “The ring chose you, that’s all I need to know.”
Oh, god. Superman thought he had reformed from a life of crime.
He wasn’t entirely wrong. Right? Right. This was fine. Everything was fine. Kyle would join the League and never tell anyone his name and no one would ever know the depth of his sins and he would meet Batman and that would end well.
… he needed to go find Jimmy immediately.